Fred R. Coulter—February 22, 2009

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Let's just review Colossians 1:27: "To whom God did will to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles…"

As we go forward. Once you have been given the knowledge and the understanding of the mystery of God, now you know why, if you reject that willfully, the penalty is eternal death. As I mentioned in the sermon Covenant of Eternal Life, when we are baptized that is our symbolic death we're conjoined to the crucifixion of Christ but also that symbolic death carries the meaning of this: If you do not fulfill the covenant you will in likewise die, because it's going to be either eternal life or eternal death. That's why God is so gracious in giving us all this knowledge and understanding because He wants us to receive eternal life.

"…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; Whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (vs 27-28). That is the whole process of perfection of growing, changing and overcoming!

How can we be made perfect? We also understand that the final perfection is not going to come until the resurrection. But in the meantime we are being molded and shaped spiritually with the Spirit of God.

It's interesting what they say about the human brain. The human brain, of course, we know is this mass up here in our skull and it is the most active and powerful part of our body. It uses up the greatest amount of blood. Also, it has the spirit of man and the Spirit of God. Our minds are constantly working. There is never a time when the mind is not working. It is capable of repairing itself, rebuilding itself and when there is change and reform, the brain's neuron connections actually change and your brain changes.

Modify that with the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ in you. Think of the great work that God is doing in your mind. This is why when we come to Phil. 2 we see why Christ in us is so important.

We will see what God is doing for us. This is His work. Always remember this: we have nothing that we did not receive! Everything we have we receive:

  • life
  • all the factors of life
  • the environment we live in
  • the food we eat
  • the air we breathe

all comes from God!

We are told in Psa. 16 that we have no goodness apart from God! When we understand that, the only way we can have the goodness in us is because of God's Spirit and the mind of Christ with Christ in us.

  • there is no human power that can overcome the law of sin and death within us
  • there is no human power that can convert the carnal mind, which is 'desperately wicked above all things.'

It has to be with God's Spirit!

The process of the change that I just described with God's Spirit is called conversion, which is a process that takes time. There's the immediate conversion when you receive the Holy Spirit, but the conversion to develop the mind the Christ, to develop Christ in you, it is the thing where it is through:

  • prayer
  • study
  • fellowship
  • living and walking God's way
  • thinking of God's Word
  • studying on God's Word
  • meditating on God's Word

and much more so today!

Now that we have all of the Scriptures available to us, which was really not available to the world until the printing press was available; and in English until William Tyndale translated the Bible—first the New Testament and then later the Old Testament, which he actually finished when he was in prison in Valverde in Antwerp, Belgium.

Philippians was written while Paul was in prison in Rome. Notice how in the dire circumstances of his trial, that God was able to really inspire him. I think that you will find this in your life. When you are going through a trial and you are drawing close to God, that He will inspire you more and more, and you will come to greater spiritual understanding. When you do, those are also part of the riches of Christ; part of the true riches that come from God! How else could you learn the true spiritual values when you suffer unless you have the mind of Christ?

Philippians 2:1: "Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love…"

When you are suffering you understand the power of love even more, because you are deprived of it. Remember God loves you!

"…if any fellowship of the Spirit… [there it goes right back to the first point we had—fellowship with God] …if any deep inner affections and compassions, fulfill my joy, that you be of the same mind…" (vs 1-2).

We're going to see the only way you are going to be of the same mind is if it is the mind of Christ!

"…having the same love, being joined together in soul, minding the one thing" (v 2). Attaining to the Kingdom of God!

Remember what Jesus said, 'Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness'and then everything we need physically will be added and everything spiritually will be added, as well.

Verse 3: "Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory, but in humility, each esteeming the others above himself. Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others" (vs 3-4). Here is quite a statement. Notice how this is written:

Verse 5: "Let…"—God is not going to force it on you. Remember where we read at the beginning, Christ is at the door-knocking, and if you open, He will come in, you must let God do it!

Verse 5: "Let this mind…"—and all having to do with:

  • the mind of Christ
  • the Spirit of God
  • the understanding of the Word of God

"…be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (v 5).

Now, Christ in you and the mind of Christ are what we might say are the greatest epitome of the riches of God, because He is giving of His innermost being to you through His Spirit so that we can:

  • think like Christ
  • act like Christ
  • believe like Christ
  • love like Christ
  • have the faith of Christ

All of that is the spiritual inner action of putting all of the riches, the true riches of God, together! Here's what He did:

  • in order to make this possible
  • in order to save His creation
  • in order to save humanity

whom He made after the image of God—and for the very reason that He made us that way—that He came in the flesh!

Verse 6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant" (vs 6-7).

He had to divest Himself of His glory because true God cannot be in a human body. That is true God, 100% God, in all His glory. Remember what the Lord told Moses, when Moses said 'Let me see your face and that will be sufficient.' God said, 'You can't see My face because no man can look on My face and live.'

God's glory and power is so great that human flesh would be incinerated in its presence. Therefore, in Christ divesting Himself, He retained as much of God as was possible to be in the human flesh. So, if you hear someone say Jesus was 100% God, 100% man—not true! You can't have 100% God and 100% man in the same body. That's why He had to humble Himself; divest Himself. But this gives us an example.

  • What was Christ willing to do for us so that we could enter into the Kingdom of God?
  • So that we could grow and have the mind of Christ?
  • He became a human being.

Verse 7: "But emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death… [when we're baptized, we are baptized into His death] …even the death of the cross" (vs 7-8).

In order to save mankind and bring many sons and daughters into the Kingdom of God; Jesus:

  • loving us
  • loving the world
  • loving the Father
  • caring out the plan of God

did this pre-planned, before the foundation of the world! He subjected Himself to all of the brutality and evil of human nature.

  • read the accounts of His beating
  • read of His crucifixion
  • read the prophecies of it
  • read Psa. 22
  • read what they did to Jesus in the scourging

That His form was more disfigured than any human beings! He did it because He loves each one of us and all whom He will call! And also, for the rest of the world, because God's plan is not finished until it's finished. There has to be the Millennium, there has to be the second resurrection and all of those things are part of God's plan.

In loving sinners, whom He has not called, He loves them so much that He's going to bring them back to a second physical life for an opportunity for salvation. That's something! I've often wondered how the Centurion and the soldiers—who stood by the cross, having driven the nails in His hands and in His feet, thrust the spear in His side—are going to react when they are resurrected in the second resurrection? Jesus said they didn't know what they were doing. He gave all that up for us!

Verse 9: "Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow took the form of a servant, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 9-11).

That's eventually going to happen. In God's plan it is going to be worked out. Christ in you, with the mind of Christ is #8.

  • Access to God

Let's look at another one, come to Heb. 10. To make this happen we have access of the true riches of God:

Hebrews 10:18: "Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin. Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh)" (vs 18-20).

Having direct access to God! Any time you pray to God, regardless of where you are, what time of day or night it is, you have direct access to God the Father and you have Jesus Christ, the High Priest at His right hand.

Verse 21: "And having a great a high Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart… [because you're never going to fool God] …with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience… [a process] ...and our bodies having been washed with pure water. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (vs 21-23).

Let's see this again; How Paul also revealed this to the Ephesians in just a little different way;

Ephesians 2:18: "For through Him we both… [Jews and Gentiles] …have direct access by one Spirit to the Father."

That's why we pray 'Our Father in heaven'—direct access to the Father! That's why prayer is important and that's why prayer is also important to God. He's given you direct access to Him. Think about this for a minute. The Sovereign Ruler of the universe:

  • has personally called you
  • has chosen you through Christ
  • has given you the Holy Spirit
  • has forgiven your sins
  • has put you in a relationship with Him
    • to fellowship with Him and
    • to pray directly to Him

Remember what Jesus said, 'Don't pray to Me that I ask the Father, you pray to the Father in My name and He will do it because He loves you.'

When we understand these things, brethren, what's going to happen is that you will see the tinsel, the shallowness of 'playing church' or 'religion.' God has called us to this real, fantastic and dynamic thing! He's working with us!

Verse 19: "So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God. You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles… [everything we have in the New Testament is the work of the Apostles] …and prophets…" (vs 19-20).

This is not Old Testament prophets necessarily, these are New Testament prophets or those who are teachers who bring inspired teachings. They are prophets: it's a telling forth of the Word of God rather than a foretelling of events.

"…Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone, In Whom all the building… [we are likened to a temple] …being conjointly fitted together, is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together… [I want to continue to emphasize the work of the Spirit is ongoing, being built] …for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (vs 20-22). That is really something!

  • Joint heirs with Christ

Let's see what this inheritance is; Hebrews 1:1: "God Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things…" (vs 1-2).

That means the vastness of everything that has been created including the universe. Now they're discovering that is more fantastic and more beautiful and far greater, having many, many more stars and galaxies than they have ever thought, and different kinds of things that they have never understood until they got the Hubbell telescope out there. They're going to send another one up in a few years, which will make the Hubbell telescope obsolete. It will be able to reach out into the vastness of the universe even more. People wonder: Why God has made the universe? For His Family! That's what it is for.

Why go to all that work to make all these stars, all these galaxies, all the power, splendor and beauty and glory that's in them and then He takes those that He saves and puts them over here in a little corner and sits there selfishly and has the whole universe to Himself. Is that what it is going to be? No!

Verse 2: "Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the ages; Who, being the brightness of His glory…" (vs 2-3).

When I read this, I want you to understand we're going to have a similar glory to Jesus, but at a lesser level. Remember Jesus said that the 'righteous at the resurrection will shine as the stars of heaven.' That's something!

"…Who being the brightness of His glory… [glory of God the Father] …and the exact image of His person… [Jesus told Philip, 'If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.'] …and upholding all things by the word of His own power…" (v 3). That's why God is true, is righteous; because:

  • by His Word they were created
  • by His Word they are maintained
  • by His Word they are upheld
  • by His Word we are converted and changed and will be resurrected

To also have the same kind of body lesser in glory! It says 'we will see Him as He is because we will be like Him.'

"…when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (v 3).

Rom. 8 puts all of these things together and ties them together in a little different way than I presented them. But you will see all of the factors that we have covered of the True Riches of God.

Romans 8:9: "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

There are a lot of counterfeits out there who think that they belong to Christ, but they don't.

Verse 10: "But if Christ be within you… [now here shows the whole process of overcoming] …the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

Here is another blessing that comes along that is mentioned in Rom. 4: God imputes the righteousness of Christ to us! That's something; a fantastic thing to grasp and to understand. With these things we need to also ask God to help us to understand these even more. I mean, we can go over them, we can number them down, we can read and study them, but to let them have an impact in our hearts and in our minds and in our lives in such a way that we really grasp it from the point of view of our relationship with God. To think that God would do this for us! Who are we that God would do it for us?

That's why the people of God need to be really thankful, really need to understand what God is doing! This is tremendous, brethren! This is God's work on earth! God's greatest work is in each one of us going on! Not the things that we do to mail out CDs, books and booklets and things like that or to do sermons or any of those things. That's not the work of God. That is to facilitate the work of God that He is doing in each one of us! Unless what we all do collectively together, to work with God toward that end, that He can work in us, then it is just like any other business corporation. We need to grasp the perspective of what God is doing here.

Verse 11: "Now, if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you…" That is the Spirit of the Father of the begettal, so that we are the children of God.

"…He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you" (v 11). There we have a guarantee of the resurrection!

  • if you understand what I am saying
  • if you can grasp what we are going through
  • if you understand what you need to do to continue to grow in grace and knowledge

you have a guarantee you will be resurrected!

God wants you there. He is working with you. If and when you do sin, which we all do, and the sin begins in the mind, and God's Spirit convicts us of it so we can repent of it. He wants it that way so we can attain to the resurrection. That's what it's all about!

Verse 12: "So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according the flesh." We live according to the Spirit! We live according to the Word of God!

Verse 13: "Because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live."

Here again, showing the process of growing, changing, overcoming, repenting, putting out sin, all of those factors are involved in this verse. Here's how much God loves you.

Verse 14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."

God's Spirit is not going to pull you. God's Spirit is not going to push you. You have to be led! This takes time to grow in grace and knowledge so that you are led of the Holy Spirit. That's why when you take all of the true riches of Christ and put them together, then you have a whole process of how to grow and overcome.

  • Fruits of the Spirit

With all that we've covered, this will produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit in us. This is the character of God:

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love…" Notice all of these are from God; character characteristics of God that He gives you through His Spirit, that He wants you to develop. That's why we have the trials and difficulties and the circumstances that we go through.

"…joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23). All of the fruits of the Holy Spirit; you can take each one of those and expand them out: Love:

  • loving God with all your heart, mind soul and being
  • loving your neighbor as your self
  • loving each other as Christ has loved us.
  • even loving our enemies.

Can be expanded out, each one of these, in that way!

Verse 24: "But those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit" (vs 24-25).

This is a high standard to meet. That's why God has given us of His Spirit to do it; given us of His Word so that we can understand it; and given us time and circumstances so we can put it all together. That is a great and a tremendous thing that God has done.

Let's see how Peter expressed developing the character of God; 2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (vs 1-2).

This is why the Word of God is important and this is why brethren so much is put upon us today because we have the Word of God. When I say that I'm not referring to the Bible that we have published, I am referring to any Bible that contains the Word of God—it is the Word of God! Now the translations may vary a little from place to place and there may be some wrong translations in different versions, but that aside, the basic knowledge of God is there. That's why there are so many billions of Bibles in the world.

Verse 3: "According as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness…" This is the book, the most important things that we need to know in all of life are contained in one book!

I remember years ago I took a tour of the Library of Congress. I walked in a hall and all of a sudden I was in the central area of where the library was. I could look and I could see walkways with books stacked from the floor to the ceiling, row after row after row after row after row of books. They have in the Library of Congress, almost every book that has been produced in the world. I looked up and saw, up above there the dome and I saw all the desks that were around on each side and different ones were there at the desks reading and things like that, and I thought: Isn't this amazing?

People are out there searching for this and that and the other thing. God has given everything we need to know in one book! That is the book that the 'intelligencia' reject. I thought that was amazing! I just stood there dumbfounded. Looking at all of those books and when I got back where I could pick up my Bible, I picked up my Bible and said, 'Thank You, God, for all the knowledge and things that You give us in Your Word—in one book. He's given it to us!

"…through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue" (v 3).

Notice what God wants to do. We were discussing various things with the economy and politics going on, and everything else, you miss the whole point. The whole point of why it is so bad is because in the general population, the greatest number of people are more sinful than you have ever imagined. What we received in the vote was the collective consciousness of those who basically want what we are getting. The evil that is coming like waves of the ocean; and that is also the punishment upon us because of our sins.

As we were discussing, you cannot solve spiritual problems by civil or political means! Well, if they would do that? if they would vote here? if they would vote that; if they would vote the other thing? No, none of that's going to work.
The only thing that would change anything for a short while would be if they would all repent from the top to the bottom:

  • in every government
  • in every secret society
  • in every state
  • in every region
  • in every county
  • in every city
  • in every home

And you know that's not going to happen! But here's what's going to happen with us:

  • Partakers of the Divine Nature

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises… [remember God cannot lie] …that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature…" It is not for sale. There is no price except all of you committed to God.

"…the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (v 4).

Because of this, then He tells us what we are to do in developing the character of God.

(go to the next track)

Verse 5: "And for this very reason… [because of everything He said vs 1–4] …also, having applied all diligence…"

Doesn't that sound a little bit like where we started at the first? To repent and be zealous? Yes!.

"…besides, add to your faith, virtue… [Godly behavior] …and to virtue, knowledge" (v 5).

Let's understand something, it is not like a man asked me one time, he said, 'What are you going to do after you have gone over the Bible five years and you know everything in the Bible, now what are you going to do?' I said:

Well, the Bible is not like an ordinary book. You have got to realize that it is inspired by the mind and Spirit of God. We can have a whole lifetime of studying the Bible, diligently every day, knowing the original language, or whatever we need to do and delve into it and still because God is infinite and because God is eternal we will never, ever, ever know everything in the Bible.

But we must strive to learn as much as we can because we are told to grow in grace and in knowledge. Isn't that something? If you get bored with the Bible, you're in bad spiritual shape. You really are. Especially if a minister does not know what to preach on, I don't know how to help him. If he's studying and he's praying and he has a relationship with God and growing in grace and knowledge he's never going to run out of things to preach on and talk about because God is going to be working and motivating with him because God wants the people to know.

" virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control…" (vs 5-6)—which means:

  • patience
  • understanding
  • controlling temper
  • controlling anger

Self-control is a key. That's talked about self-control in Gal. 5. This is a description in a nutshell of the Government of God. {note booklet: Is the Ministry the Government of God?} The answer is NO! The Government of God is on the shoulders of Christ and He's the Head of the Church.

With God's Spirit, what He wants everyone to do is to use the Spirit and laws of God to govern your life through self-control by choice. That's the best description of the Government of God. Not a minister exercising authority over you. Because you know what happened to Galileo when he was hauled before the pope. The pope said, 'You repent of this that the world is round!' He said, 'Okay, it's flat.' He was walking out it was said that he said under his breath, 'Nevertheless, it is still round.'

That's a perfect example that ministers cannot govern you. Christ governs you, with His Spirit through your choices and self-control.

"…and to self-control, endurance…" (v 6)—because we have to endure to the end! Endurance is a magnified expression of patience, and endurance you can add anything you want to that.

"…and to endurance, Godliness… [notice all the steps to Godliness] …and to Godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, the love of God. For if these things exist and abound in you… [as part of your character, as part of the true riches of Christ] …they will cause you to be neither lacking effort nor lacking fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 6-8)

That's really something! So, the true riches of Christ, the true riches of Godare way beyond what we can really think and grasp unless we have the Holy Spirit of God.

Eph. 3 helps lay out our whole purpose for being. The whole reason of what God is doing and why we go through the things that we do. Remember, Paul was in chains when he wrote this

Ephesians 3:7—concerning the Gospel of Christ: "Of which I became a servant according to the gift of the grace of God, which was given to me through the inner working of His power." That's what we want, the inner working of the power of the Spirit of God!

Notice his humility. The truth is that the more you know about God's plan, the more you understand about it, the more humble that you become. Not because you say, 'Oh I'll be humble.' No! Because you are in such awe of the great and fantastic plan of God.

Verse 8: "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, was this grace given, that I might preach the Gospel among the Gentiles—even the unsearchable riches of Christ; and that I might enlighten all as to what is the fellowship of the mystery that has been hidden from the ages in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ" (vs 8-9)

Notice how this ties everything in that we've covered:

Verse 10: "So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places."

We are given knowledge and understanding and God's Spirit in way completely different from any of the angels. When I read this verse it's amazing to me that the angels learn because of what we learn.

Verse 11: "According to His eternal purpose, which He has wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord, in Whom we have boldness and direct access with confidence through His very own faith. So then, I beseech you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which are working for your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (vs 11-15). Your new name is waiting!

This is His prayer for all the saints. This is my prayer for you and all that hear this:

Verse 16: "He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; and that being rooted and grounded in love, you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height… [to comprehend as much as possible] …and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses human knowledge so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (vs 16-19).

That's what God wants for you. Those are the results of the true riches of God, to be filled with all the fullness of God!

Verse 20: "Now, to Him Who is able… [has the power and capacity] …to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…"—hasn't entered into the mind what God has prepared for those who love Him!

Even those who love Him have an inkling of it 'looking through a glass darkly.' God is going to give above all that we ask or think!

"…according to the power that is working in us, to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all generations, even into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 20-21). These are the true riches of God!

Scriptural References:

  • Colossians 1:27-28
  • Philippians 2:1-11
  • Hebrews 10:18-23
  • Ephesians 2:18-22
  • Hebrews 1:1-3
  • Romans 8:9-14
  • Galatians 5:22-25
  • 2 Peter 1:1-8
  • Ephesians 3:7-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

    • Psalm 16; 22
    • Romans 4

Also referenced:

  • Books: Is the Ministry the Government of God? by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermon: Covenant of Eternal Life

Transcribed: 5-8-09
Reformatted/Corrected—bo: 10/2019